Beltaine with Prairie Shadow Grove and Other Things

Prairie Shadow Grove is the ADF grove of which I am a member.  We celebrated our Beltaine ritual yesterday.  Our ritual was done honoring the Welsh god and hero Llew Llaw Gyffes.  The ritual was small with only 6 adults in attendance, but it was moving.  The incorporation of chants accompanied by a tin whistle to welcome in the kindreds (the ancestors, the nature spirits, and the gods and goddesses) was truly inspiring.  As with most our groves rituals these days, the offerings were made by the four children in attendance.  Sons and daughters of some of our members, these well behaved little ones ask and our granted the ability to help with the ritual when they so desire.  Although we held the ritual indoors (in a garage space because of the wet weather) we were still able to submit what we wanted to expel from our lives, written on pieces of paper, into a burning bowl.  This echoed the purifying bonfires of the celebrations of old.  As a kemetic, however, it also reminded me of execrations.  Aside from burning a bit of my thumbnail, I would say it went well indeed.

The food was delicious as always.  I usually bring something store bought, but my fellow grove members are incredible cooks.  I definitely had a few helpings.  We had a raffle to raise some money for our newly designated grove.  I walked away with both presents from friends and prizes from the raffle.  One of the raffle prizes that I won is a book called The Reluctant Empath.  I have been asked before if I am an empath, and I always go back and forth with this question.  My true answer is that I simply do not know.  I feel things, but determining whether it’s due to empathic abilities, bipolar anomalies, or some other source is something I’m not able to do yet with confidence.

I know that my gods want me to trust my intuition more.  I will continue to try doing so.  As work has becoming busier and more emotionally exhausting of late, I need to work on grounding during it.  I can’t leave early every night because I’m emotionally exhausted.  I need to work on ridding myself of the extra emotions that I’ve gathered, whether from me or from others.

A friend gave me a statue of Odin, which is now on my altar.  Another friend gave me a few books on fairies.  I feel that at some point I may be working with these creatures, though I know I’m not ready to do so yet.  I have much to learn.

Several of my fellow grove members and my friends outside the grove are not artistically inclined.  I am not.  However, I see the power of doing art as a devotional act.  Many of my friends have been making prayer beads of late for their gods.  I think this is a doable project that I could start with.  I joined the ADF Artisans Guild to help inspire me to create.  There is something special to creating things yourself.

I joined a number of ADF groups recently to learn and grow.  I am still pursuing my dedicant’s path.  As I become more active in my grove, I want to become more active in the organization itself.  I desperately want to take advantage of some of their learning programs.  I must do the dedicant’s path first, however.  I think laying out my progress during my grove’s monthly meetings will help to encourage me to forge ahead.  Our Grove’s Senior Druid, who recently became clergy, is very inspiring.  I hope to some day become at least somewhat as success in leadership and scholarly programs as she is.  Everything takes time.  I have to be willing to put in the time to reap the benefits.  Wish me luck!

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